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Manager Khan ready for Champions League campaign

By JOEL BAILEY Monday, September 16 2013

click on pic to zoom in

OMAR KHAN, manager of the Trinidad and Tobago T20 cricket team, more known as the “Red Force”, said the team is ready for their campaign at the Champions League T20 competition in India, which bowls off tomorrow with the qualifying stage.

Trinidad and Tobago will be leaving today for India, after a few warm-up matches, including trips to Guyana and Dominica (to face the Windward Islands).

“The good thing about it is what we have built a good team, good team spirit, good chemistry among the players and the management has been excellent,” said Khan, during an interview yesterday. “That in itself augurs well for the team going to India.”

After arriving in India, Khan said, “we’ll have a couple practice sessions and a practice game.”

Trinidad and Tobago are in Group B, and will face Brisbane Heat (September 22), a qualifier (September 24), Titans from South Africa (September 30) and Chennai Super Kings (October 2). The semi-finals are slated for October 4 and 5, and the final on October 6.

Dwayne Bravo will be representing Chennai, Kieron Pollard will be with Mumbai Indians and Kevon Cooper with Rajasthan Royals, but TT will be fielding new ‘sensation’ Nicholas Pooran as well as a new member to the T20 team, Shannon Gabriel.

“And we also have Rayad Emrit who has been one of the most improved in terms of T20 cricketers,” stated Khan. “He’s done well in the CPL and he’s now looking to make a name for himself.

“We have Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul who all have played in the IPL, and they have had experience in Indian conditions,” he added. “They will add that tremendous experience to the team.”

This is the last time that the “Red Force” will be at the Champions League. “Yes it will be the last time Trinidad and Tobago as a national team will be representing the Caribbean,” Khan noted. “It’s not just Trinidad and Tobago, we’re representing the entire region.

“Everyone recognise the importance of making the Caribbean proud, not just Trinidad and Tobago,” added the former West Indies team manager.

Trinidad and Tobago will be fielding four specialist spinners, in Narine (off), Badree (leg), Yannick Ottley (left-arm orthodox) and Sherwin Ganga (off).

Asked if spin will be the team’s trump card, Khan replied, “in T20 cricket, it’s not just people who bowl slow but once you can use the conditions and vary your bowling, even the faster bowlers and medium pacers can do well.

“You may be surprised that Lendl Simmons may bowl a couple overs and doing well, because they have the experience and can use the slower balls. And that is what it’s all about, outsmarting and outthinking the opposition.”

Team – Denesh Ramdin (captain); Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Sherwin Ganga, Yannick Ottley, Navin Stewart, Sunil Narine, Rayad Emrit, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree, Shannon Gabriel; David Williams (coach), Kelvin Williams (assistant coach), Omar Khan (manager), Oba Gulston (physio/trainer), Denesh Mahabir (video analyst).

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